Austria's Struggle: No One Wants Hitler's House
The large building has stood empty since 2011
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 8:18 AM CDT
Exterior view of Adolf Hitler's birth house in Braunau am Inn, Austria, on Sept. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson)

(Newser) – A home's history can really make or break its marketability. Such is the case with what would otherwise be prime real estate in Austria's Braunau am Inn, a town near the German border. This house marks the spot where Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889; it was an inn at the time, and though he only lived there briefly as a baby before his family relocated, the 8,610-square-foot building that rents for nearly $5,820 a month has gone unoccupied since 2011, much to the displeasure of the country's interior ministry. The ministry has rented it from the home's private owner (Haaretz reports it does so to keep it from being used by neo-Nazis) since 1972 and sublets it, reports AFP.

Hitler's personal secretary, Martin Bormann, purchased the building in 1938 in the hopes of eventually fashioning it into a monument to the führer, der Spiegel reports. A gate marked with Bormann's initials is the final lingering Nazi-era item present at the location, which Hitler visited a single time during his reign. Neo-Nazis gather there much more frequently: each year on Hitler's birthday. The owners who sold the building in 1938 repurchased it in 1952, with the interior ministry stepping in two decades later. The Local reports that the owner has apparently been quite particular, quashing potential plans that would see a community college or migrant center occupy it. The owner has apparently also nixed a proposal by historian Andreas Maislinger that it be made into a "House of Responsibility." AFP reports the ministry is trying to hand off the location to another ministry and is hopeful it will get a response by year's end. (Meanwhile, a new report says Hitler took crystal meth.)
 

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